Impaired T-cell regulation of B-cell growth in Helicobacter pylori--related gastric low-grade MALT lymphoma

Gastroenterology. 1999 Nov;117(5):1105-12. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5085(99)70395-1.


Background & aims: Neoplastic B cells of the Helicobacter pylori-related low-grade gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma are responsive to T helper cells and sensitive to withdrawal of H. pylori-induced T-cell help.

Methods: The clonal progeny of T cells from the gastric mucosa of 5 patients with MALT lymphoma was compared with that of T-cell clones obtained from 5 H. pylori-infected patients with chronic gastritis.

Results: T-cell clones were assessed for specificity to H. pylori, cytokine profile, help for B-cell proliferation, and perforin- or Fas-mediated cytotoxic regulation of B-cell growth. Twenty-eight of 165 CD4(+) gastric clones from MALT lymphoma and 33 of 178 CD4(+) clones from chronic gastritis recognized H. pylori antigens. Cytokine production was similar in the 2 series of clones. All MALT lymphoma-derived clones dose-dependently increased their B-cell help, whereas clones from chronic gastritis lost helper activity at T-to-B-cell ratios greater than 1 because of concomitant cytolytic killing of B cells. T-cell clones from MALT lymphoma had both reduced perforin-mediated cytotoxicity and poor ability to induce Fas-mediated apoptosis. These defects were limited to gastric T cells.

Conclusions: H. pylori-induced T cell-dependent B-cell activation and deficient cytotoxic control of B-cell growth may link H. pylori infection, local T-cell response, and genesis of low-grade gastric MALT lymphoma.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antigens, Bacterial / analysis
  • Antigens, Bacterial / physiology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / pathology*
  • Cell Division
  • Chronic Disease
  • Clone Cells
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gastric Mucosa / metabolism
  • Gastritis / immunology
  • Gastritis / microbiology
  • Helicobacter Infections / complications*
  • Helicobacter pylori* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / immunology
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / microbiology*
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / pathology
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Perforin
  • Pore Forming Cytotoxic Proteins
  • Stomach / pathology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / immunology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / microbiology*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / pathology
  • fas Receptor / physiology


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Cytokines
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Pore Forming Cytotoxic Proteins
  • fas Receptor
  • Perforin